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Businesses at risk of losing top talent

Dec 21 2016 09:32

Cape Town - Businesses are at risk of losing top talent, according to Deloitte’s global annual survey, as many Millennials already have one foot out of the door.  

According to the survey two-thirds of Millennials express a desire to leave their organisations by 2020.

Millennials’ loyalty to their organisations is connected to leadership development opportunities, workplace flexibility, and a sense of purpose beyond profit, said Deloitte's.

"Personal values guide Millennials’ career choices; 56% won’t consider certain employers based on an organisation’s values or conduct, while 49% have rejected assignments that conflict with their values or ethics."

Concerns regarding a lack of development of leadership skills and feelings of being overlooked were often voiced by those surveyed considering near-term career changes.

However, larger issues around work/life balance, the desire for flexibility, and differences around business values emerged as a larger influencer of opinion and behaviour.

Deloitte's said given the choice, one in four global Millennials would quit his or her current job and do something different. The figure increases when the time frame is expanded to five years with 76% of South African Millennials surveyed expecting to quit their current employer by 2020.

In general, the intention to move on is greater in emerging markets (69%) rather that mature economies (61%).

"It is thus imperative for businesses to adjust how they nurture loyalty among Millennials or risk losing a large percentage of their workforces," said Human capital leader for Deloitte in South Africa, Werner Nieuwoudt, as the grouping currently forms the biggest of the South African population.

“The potential exodus is not only linked to junior appointments but even those Millennials in senior positions expressed the intention to leave their organisations relatively soon,” said Nieuwoudt.

He said Millennials appear to be guided by strong values at all stages of their careers; it’s apparent in the employers they choose, the assignments they’re willing to accept, and the decisions they make as they take on more senior-level roles.

While they continue to express a positive view of business’ role in society and have softened their negative perceptions of business’ motivation and ethics compared to prior surveys, Millennials still want businesses to focus more on people (employees, customers, and society), products, and purpose - and less on profits.

Roadmap to meet Millennials’ needs

According to Punit Renjen, Deloitte Global CEO, business leaders need to demonstrate they appreciate these priorities, or their organisations will continue to be at risk. “Fortunately, Millennials have provided business with a roadmap of how employers can meet their needs for career satisfaction and professional development,” he said.

Millennials seek employers with similar values; seven in 10 believe their personal values are shared by the organisations for which they work. This is the potential “silver lining” for organisations aiming to retain these young professionals.

Closing the “purpose gap” also will be critical to attracting and keeping Millennials. They want to work for organisations that focus on improving the skills, income, and ‘satisfaction levels’ of employees; create jobs; and provide goods and services that have a positive impact on peoples’ lives. Millennials recognise the need for businesses to be profitable and to grow, but feel organisations are often too focused on those objectives.

To Millennials, organisations with a strong sense of purpose will achieve long-term success while organisations that do not are at risk.

According to the survey, employers that provide opportunities for leadership development; connect Millennials to mentors; encourage a work/life balance; provide flexibility that allows Millennials to work where they’re most productive; give them more control over their careers; and foster cultures that encourage and reward open communications, ethical behavior, and inclusiveness, are those that will be most successful in retaining Millennial employees.

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